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Watch Alan Ritchson Flirt With Paula Abdul On 'American Idol,' Years Before 'Reacher' Fame

Long before Alan Ritchson hit it big with “Reacher” on Amazon Prime Video, he made Paula Abdul sweat during an audition for “American Idol.” (Watch the video below.)

It was several years and slabs of muscle ago, but Ritchson showed decent singing chops in his tryout, which aired in 2004.

That’s not what grabs the attention, though, as the audition footage has recently resurfaced to the surprise of many fans who didn’trealize he was on the talent show.

The sizzle is the over-the-top moments with Abdul. When fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson realize that Abdul is smitten, they leave the room so Ritchson can audition solo for the “Forever Your Girl” star.

“I’m a professional and it didn’t sway my decision ... much,” Abdul says.

Ritchson serenades Abdul up-close with a serviceable “You Are the Sunshine of My LIfe.” He kneels in front of her and they caress each other as he croons. They hug, and she doesn’t let him go as Jackson and Cowell pry him away.

“You guys are just jealous!” Ritchson yells.

Sure, it’s cheesy and it feels contrived.

The panel unanimously advanced him to the next round. Although he was eventually eliminated from “American Idol,” Ritchson has said that the experience pushed him to pursue show business further.

“Even though I was cut, I was enamored of the passion people had there for their art,” he told The Wall Street Journal last year, reflecting on his tryout in Atlanta and stint on the show in Los Angeles. “I decided to stay, and landed TV commercials and auditions.”

Good choice. Ritchson now stars on “Reacher” as a hulking drifter who is a former military special investigator ― and still kicks butt. Despite the second season premiere dropping in December, it remains the second most popular show on Prime, according to metrics from the site FlixPatrol.

Next up on Ritchson’s to-do list is a holiday comedy with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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